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Clean water after the earthquake in Nepal

World Vision
22 March 2016 by Aaron Aspi
Clean water after the earthquake in Nepal

Playful and smiling, third grader Kripa looks on as she shares water with her friend during lunch time. Photo by Aaron Aspi, World Vision

In a village in Nepal, a temporary learning centre now serves as a school for 65 students. Rebuilt a month after the earthquake, it has now replaced the damaged school which lies in ruins.

Children are now having lessons inside makeshift classrooms made of iron sheets. School children are playing around during their break after eating lunch. Children are playing near the rubble beside a big mango tree that has started to bloom.

Enjoying lunch and playtime, Kripa and her friends are sharing drinking water, passing around the big blue water jug to quench their thirst.

“Pani khana anunuhos, (Come, please drink water).” She pours the drink to help the younger ones who can’t carry the heavy jug. The children continued playing until the school bell rang prompting them to return to class.

It’s a good thing that Kripa and the school children from their school still have drinking water. But this is not the case for others. A year after the earthquake, access to clean water has been a challenge in Nepal’s worst-hit zones especially those in far-flung, high altitude areas where schools and communities are present.

World Vision’s baseline report released on November 2015 indicates that at least 500,000 people are still in need of support in terms of improving access and facilities for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Over the year, World Vision has constructed 54 temporary learning centres with WASH facilities including toilets, hand washing facilities and water systems – benefiting more than 8,000 children in earthquake-hit areas. During the emergency phase, clean water kits – including aquatabs and jerry cans helped provide clean water for more than 112,000 people.

Novel Tamba, World Vision’s Nepal Emergency Response WASH Advisor shares, “As clean water becomes more difficult to access, we continue to restore water facilities and intensify awareness raising for disaster-affected communities to know how to keep their water clean through simple water treatment that can be done in the households and schools.”

Common ways of water treatment involve using water filters and chlorination. World Vision WASH teams are also advocating for solar disinfectants — harnessing the sun’s heat to disinfect water by leaving water-full containers in the rooftops, under the sun for at least 6 hours a day. Convincing people to adapt safe water treatment practices is also important to keep people from getting water-borne diseases.

The sun is out and it’s spring time once again — fruit trees are beginning to bloom as farming communities in the highlands are rising up after the earthquake. Clean water is vital for Kripa and thousands of children like her. Like the blossoming mango tree, water is important to children for them to grow healthy and strong.

Aaron Aspi

Aaron is a Communications Officer for World Vision's Nepal Emergency Response

 

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